WASHINGTON – United States defense officials on Thursday postponed the military parade scheduled for Veterans Day in November until at least 2019.
“The Department of Defense and White House have been planning a parade to honor America’s military veterans and commemorate the centennial of World War I,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
“We originally targeted November 10, 2018 for this event but have now agreed to explore opportunities in 2019,” it added.
The Pentagon did not provide an official explanation for the delay of the parade, which was initially ordered by President Donald Trump.
The decision to postpone came on the same day that US media reported the event would cost about $92 million, exceeding the budget initially allocated for the event.
US Secretary of Defense James Mattis ruled out the possibility that the expenses would reach that amount.
Minutes before landing in Bogota on an official visit, the defense chief told reporters who were traveling with him that he had seen no such estimates and that every budget concerning the Pentagon had to go through him.
Trump asked the Pentagon in February to organize the event after he was invited in 2017 by French president Emmanuel Macron to see the Bastille Day parade in Paris.
The first of its kind in the US since 1991, the parade would march from the White House along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington to US Congress.